BEIJING, May 2 (Xinhua) -- China will improve its business environment by cutting the approval time for starting a business and construction projects by about half, according to a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang Wednesday.
The amount of time required to start a business in municipalities, sub-provincial cities and provincial capitals will be reduced this year from an average of more than 20 workdays to 8.5 workdays, according to a statement released after the meeting.
Meanwhile, measures will be taken to cut the time required for government approval of construction projects from the current average level of more than 200 workdays to 120 workdays in 16 pilot regions including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin this year.
The time-cutting goals are expected to be realized nationwide by the first half of 2019.
The procedures that a new firm needs to go through to become initially operational will be further streamlined, and the whole business registration process will be conducted online, while government approval of the names of businesses prior to registration will no longer be needed unless specifically required.
The amount of time needed for invoice application and social insurance registration will also be reduced.
Government review items and approval processes concerning home building and urban infrastructure will be simplified, optimized and standardized.
The review and approval of a project will no longer be conditional on environmental impact and energy efficiency, which will instead be subject to general assessment by the government.
"Addressing the issue of inefficient government approval is conducive to lowering government-imposed transaction costs and the nationwide business startup and innovation initiative," the statement said.